One of the keys to the Celtics growth will be if the offense can take a step forward. The way the league plays now, a big part of any team's offensive game plan is to launch three pointers. How effective a team is from deep is a great indicator of how effective that team is on offense. If you look at the top ten for Hollinger's NBA Team Ranks for offensive efficiency, only Washington and Milwaukee were missing from the top eleven three point shooting teams. The two are definitely correlated. So how are the Celtics doing from long range this preseason?

Last year the Celtics put up the 27th best three point percentage at 32.7%. Only Denver, Philadelphia, and Charlotte were worse. Their preseason numbers would slot them solidly in second place, 1.4% better than Atlanta (38%).

It's a positive sign for the Celtics. Of the players who hoisted more than 3 long range attempts per game, the C's were paced by rookie Terry Rozier (61.5%), Avery Bradley (52.4%), and Isaiah Thomas (46.7%). Despite the preseason hype around RJ Hunter aka RJ Sniper, the lanky rookie was actually a very average 31.6% from deep, while James Young shot 42.9% on only 2.3 attempts per game.

What does it all mean? That a preseason emphasis on shooting threes is already showing early returns for Avery Bradley. That we shouldn't sleep on Terry Rozier's ability to chuck it from deep. And that the team would benefit from Isaiah Thomas, who put up an average of 6.6 3PAs per game, improving on last year's 34.5% from downtown. But also it should be noted that what Rozier and Bradley are doing is unsustainable.

Caveats aside, Celtics fans have to be hoping that the team is more accurate from long range this year and if they're able to make a leap towards the top ten, the team could really go places this year.

Photo Credit Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

Paul Colahan 10/23/2015 03:03:00 PM Edit
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